THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN (1979) Reviews and overview


The Psychotronic Man (aka The Psycho-Tronic Man) is a 1979 low budget science fiction cult film that opened in Chicago April 23, 1980 at the Carnegie Theatre. It was directed by Jack M. Sell and written, produced and starred Peter G. Spelson.

This film is considered noteworthy for three distinct reasons. The first is that the name “psychotronic” became the generic name for B-grade cult movies. In fact, after seeing the movie once movie critic Michael J. Weldon created an extensive list of reviews of obscure quirky films that he felt were under appreciated by the mainstream and then marketed it as the “Psychotronic Encyclopedia.”

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The second thing the movie is most noted for are the production circumstances surrounding it. It was one of the few feature films to be shot entirely in Chicago since the days of the silent movie. It was also entirely produced outside any of the existing studio systems and financed by private funds. At the time Chicago’s mayor Richard J. Daley actively discouraged movie making because he felt the movies that were being made at that time period were mostly negative and rebellious, and he wanted Chicago to be seen in a good light.


Just as Rocky thinks the world is proceeding along quite well, he dashes out of his shop in a kind of trance, as though possessed. Once outside he is driven to hunt for a victim and after he has found someone, he kills them with whatever forces are latent in his subconscious…



“The Psychotronic Man” defines itself in the opening minutes, suggesting that the protagonist of the piece is some kind of blue collar super-deity or psychic while simultaneously playing up his very human problems, namely alcoholism, as a non-contextualized flash-cut of a car exploding hints at a later significant event in barber Rocky Foscoe’s life – his own near death.” Cranked On Cimema


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